Architect to build home using 3D printer

Architect to build home using 3D printer

POSTED: Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 6:00am

UPDATED: Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 6:04am

A Dutch architect is thinking a little bigger about 3-D printing than the tiny-to-midsize trinkets we've seen so far.

He wants to print a house. And a pretty offbeat and innovative one at that.

"Landscape House" is the brainchild of architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars. He describes it as "one surface folded in an endless Mobius band," or sort of a giant figure 8. According to its creator, walking through its continuous looping design will seamlessly merge indoors and outdoors in an effort to model nature itself.

The house would cost between $5 million and $6 million, according to the BBC, and there's already been interest expressed by museums, private individuals and others, according to Ruijssenaars. He told the network that someone in Brazil plans to buy one to display native art he's found in a nearby national park.

All that would be innovative enough on its own. But to take it a step further, the architect plans to build "Landscape House" using the emerging technology of 3-D printing.

Commercially available models like the MakerBot aren't exactly up to the task. This requires a printer of enormous size. And Ruijssenaars found one in the D-Shape.

Described as a "mega-scale free form printer" by its makers, the massive aluminum structure uses sand, which it forms back into a material that's like marble.

For "Landscape House," it will be used to print out blocks that are about 20 feet by 30 feet. Those, along with some fiberglass and concrete reinforcements, will be used to create the building.

"3D printing is amazing," Ruijssenaars told the BBC. "For me as an architect it's been a nice way to construct this specific design -- it has no beginning and no end, and with the 3-D printer we can make it look like that."

He says his first "Landscape House" is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. 

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